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Applicants Sought for 2 USDA Grant Programs

July 11, 2018, 2:40 PM HST (Updated July 11, 2018, 2:40 PM)
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The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) announced they are seeking applicants for two new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service competitive grant programs: wildland-urban interface and landscape scale restoration grants.

Fire break in wildland urban interface helps to stop fire at Waikoloa Village, 2005. PC: Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO).

Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) grants provide funds to mitigate risk from wildland fire. Funds are awarded through a competitive process with emphasis on hazard fuel reduction, information and education, assessment and planning, and monitoring through community and landowner action.

DOFAW is looking for other non-federal landowners, agencies and organizations interested in collaborating on joint projects across land ownership and management boundaries.

Hawai‘i projects have previously received WUI grants. In 2015 a grant was awarded to the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization to update plans and create community wildfire protection plans (CWPP) statewide. Once a community develops a wildfire protection plan, they can apply for funds through the WUI grant program to implement educational or fuels reduction projects. Currently, there are 13 community wildfire protection plans statewide. Additional information on WUI grants can be found online.

Michael Walker, DOFAW’s fire protection forester notes “DOFAW is hoping to work closely with communities on WUI projects as most wildland fires are started in the wildland-urban interface, and reducing the risk of fire is especially important in Hawai‘i where our watersheds are in close proximity to urban areas and can be damaged by fast-moving wild fires.”

Landscape scale restoration grants address significant issues or landscapes identified in Hawaii’s Forest Action Plan, and focus on conserving working forests, protecting forests from harm, and enhancing public benefits from trees and forests.

A successful previous project in 2017 funded by this program was a collaborative interagency effort involving nine state and non-profit partners on educational outreach—“Slow the Spread, Spread the Word: Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death Outreach.” Additional information on landscape grants can be found online.

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Draft applications for 2019 for both of these grants will be accepted by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) until Aug. 6, 2018.

Non-federal landowners, agencies and organizations interested in participating in either program are encouraged to contact Michael Walker or Tanya Rubenstein in the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife at (808) 587-0166 to discuss their interest in the programs and/or request a draft application form.

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